Filipino firebrand Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon’s name has become synonymous with scintillating performances.
Over the past few years, the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion has won six straight bouts to reach the highest point of his career and book a World Champion versus World Champion title unification rematch with Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes at ONE: HEART OF THE LION.
However, a few years ago, a heartbreaking setback made Belingon briefly unsure whether he could hang with the division’s elite.
It took this disappointment on the grandest stage to turn his career around, and surge towards his highly anticipated clash at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, 9 November.
The Ifugao tribe's warrior spirit runs deep within Kevin ' The Silencer' Belingon ????????Singapore | 9 November | 6:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onelion18
Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, October 28, 2018
Belingon’s defeat to Fernandes by first-round submission in January 2016 lit a fire underneath him.
“When I first fought Bibiano, it was a realization for me. I was confident that my striking would pose problems for him, but I was shocked that I wasn’t able to hit him with a clean punch,” the 31-year-old says.
“His grappling and defense were levels above what I expected, and as a result, I was beaten rather easily.
“It was at that moment that I realized just how big the gap was between us. I was standing across a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, but I didn’t understand what that meant.
“After the fight, I knew I had to work on my grappling if I wanted to challenge him again someday.”
Sent back to the drawing board, Belingon consulted with his head coach at Team Lakay, Mark Sangiao, and together they devised a plan that would allow “The Silencer” to improve his grappling – particularly his defense.
The results were phenomenal.
Will Kevin ' The Silencer' Belingon land his famous spinning back kick on Bibiano Fernandes? ????Singapore | 9 November | 6:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onelion18
Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, October 14, 2018
In his next bout, Belingon trampled the dangerous Muin Gafurov by showcasing his improved takedown defense to stay on his feet and outstrike the man from Tajikistan.
The following year, Belingon crushed Finnish grappling wizard Toni “Dynamite” Tauru, winning via first-round TKO, and then he stopped Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Reece “Lightning” McLaren with a barrage of punches in 62 seconds.
Belingon’s bout against Andrew Leone this past April was a different story. The American took more risks, but paid the price as he became a permanent part of the Filipino’s highlight reel.
All of that built towards a showdown with ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen for the interim belt at ONE: REIGN OF KINGS in July. Belingon put on his most impressive display of speed, power, and tenacity to take home the unanimous decision and the gold.
Can Kevin ' The Silencer' Belingon beat ONE's most dominant World Champion ever?Singapore | 9 November | 6:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onelion18
Posted by ONE Championship on Thursday, October 18, 2018
After six thrilling victories, “The Silencer” finds himself faced with destiny once again.
“Now, we’re here. The rematch with Bibiano is finally happening, and I can show him just how much I have improved since our first meeting,” he says.
“I can proudly say that the biggest difference has been my grappling. Because I upgraded this area of my game, I am more confident now in unleashing my strikes. Improving my grappling has made me a better striker.”
As much as Belingon has improved, he knows Fernandes has also continued to make strides with his world-class grappling and powerful striking.
For that reason, he will have to draw on everything he has learned in the past couple of years and execute the perfect game plan in Singapore to emerge as the undisputed ONE Bantamweight World Champion.
The power in Kevin ' The Silencer' Belingon's ???? cannot be denied.Singapore | 9 November | 6:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onelion18
Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, October 21, 2018
“It has been a long wait for me. The rematch has been the only thing on my mind for the past two years,” the Filipino states.
“In many ways, Bibiano is still the dangerous black belt, and I have to be careful. But this time, if he wants to take me down, he’ll have to walk through fire to get close to me.
“I don’t plan on just standing there and letting him dictate the pace. I’ll fight with fury, and this time, I will connect.”
Winning the World Title has always been Belingon’s goal, but he was not equipped to do it two years ago. This time, he aims to rewrite history and end Fernandes’ bantamweight dominance once and for all.